City of Panama City gets into the Christmas spirit with tree lighting ceremony

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Panama City. 

The City of Panama City hosted their annual tree lighting ceremony with lots of songs, snacks and friends.

The main event might be the tree but for some this event means so much more. 

2020 has been a year where hugging your loved ones was a gift, residents like Stevens Roberson said the gift she received is being with each other. 

“I definitely think the Christmas spirit is a huge part of it and in general just getting together and having fun even with COVID so it is cool that we can still do events like this,” Roberson said. 

At Friday’s event, people could drink hot chocolate, enjoy Christmas carols from the bay high school choir and even play in the “snow.”

Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said he is happy to see the smiles on everyone’s faces. 

“Anytime you do something that gets you back to normalcy is a good thing,” Brudnicki said. “You know you see all these kids out here running around, they’re happy.”

Then the star on top of the tree was getting a visit from Santa. Children lined up to take their picture and tell him what they want to see underneath their tree. 

It took city staff around six weeks to put up all the lights and the final product is just magical. 

“You know Florida doesn’t normally get cold enough but it’s a little brisk tonight so I think everyone really appreciates it,” Brudnicki said. 

The City of Panama City will stay in the Christmas spirit as they hold their Christmas parade down Harrison Avenue Saturday at 6:15 p.m.

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